A month has passed since the high school massacre in Parkland, Florida, which has been widely politicized.
Now professional protestors have turned this school's grief into a political football, making a hard push toward gun control. Today's national school walkout will be all over the news, but what won't be covered are the schools that refuse to participate.
Creswell High in Oregon is one such school. One of our audience members, Gary Jones, shared this letter from its principal:
In the wake of the most recent school violence tragedy in Florida, there have been nationwide calls for school walkouts on March 14th, April 20th, and other days to demonstrate regarding gun violence and school safety.
At Creswell High School, our top priority is to support the academic and social emotional needs of our students while maintaining a safe and orderly learning environment for all.
We want our families to be aware that some students may be considering leaving school on these dates. We respect our students' right to express their personal views and encourage them to be informed and engaged community members. However, no matter what the topic, our school and our district cannot condone walkouts or other demonstrations that disrupt the learning environment.
Your child's education and safety are our primary focus. During school hours, students should be in school – safe, supervised, and learning. The safest place for students to be during school hours is in the school building. If students engage in a walkout they are leaving the supervised school environment.
Our standard expectations for students include attending their scheduled classes and not disrupting the learning environment. Students who choose to participate peacefully in a walkout demonstration receive an unexcused absence for the class period, as outlined in the Student Handbook. We expect civil and orderly behavior from our students at all times.
We will always work to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all of our students. Thank you for working with us to keep our students safe. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Creswell High School
These are refreshingly powerful words coming from an educational institution that clearly has its priorities straight.